One 1.5 to 1.8kg chicken, giblets removed and reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
4 sprigs fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary or any combination
2 carrots, cut into 4cm pieces
1 large onion, quartered
2 celery stalks, cut into 4cm pieces
15g unsalted butter, melted
350ml chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
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2) Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, herbs, and half of the carrots, onions, and celery.
3) Tie the legs together with kitchen string and fold the wing tips under the back. Place the remaining onion, and celery in the centre of a roasting tin just large enough to accommodate the chicken. (Discard the liver or reserve for other recipes.) Brush the entire chicken with the butter; season with salt and pepper. Set the bird breast-side up on top of the vegetables.
4) Roast the chicken for 45 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 220C/Gas Mark 8, cooking until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the chicken thigh registers 71C, about 15 minutes more.
5) Tip the chicken so the juices run into the tin. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil while making the gravy.
6) Discard the vegetables and pour the fat and juices in the pan into a degreasing cup or small bowl. Reserve about 2 tbsp of the fat, discard the rest, and add the roasting juices to the stock.
7) Place the pan directly on the burner over medium-high heat and add the reserved fat. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the tin with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
8) Whisk in the stock and continue to stir. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Strain the sauce into a gravy boat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the vegetables and giblets.
9) Carve the chicken and serve with gravy.
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